Coughan set to make Munster debut in URC

Munster celebrate with the cup after winning the United Rugby Championship Final match between DHL Stormers and Munster at DHL Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa in May. Photo: Nic Bothma.

ETHAN Coughlan, 21, will make his debut for Munster in Saturday’s United Rugby Championship opener against Sharks at Thomond Park, 5.15pm.

The county Clare native, who is attached to Shannon, along with fellow academy member Edwin Edogbo are named on Graham Rowntree’s starting selection, while several others are named among the replacements.

Andrew Conway starts on his 150th Munster appearance and features in his first competitive fixture since June 2022 after recovering from a knee injury.

Josh Wycherley will make his 50th Munster outing in the front row with new signing Alex Nankivell among the reserves after arriving from New Zealand last weekend.

Shane Daly starts at full-back with Conway and Calvin Nash on either wing.

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Rory Scannell and Antoine Frisch form the midfield partnership with Coughlan and Joey Carbery in the half-backs.

Josh Wycherley, Diarmuid Barron and Stephen Archer pack down in the front row with Edogbo and Fineen Wycherley in the engine room.

Captain Jack O’Donoghue, Alex Kendellen and Gavin Coombes complete the side.

Scott Buckley, Kieran Ryan and John Ryan provide the front row back-up.

Tom Ahern is set for his first competitive appearance in a year after a shoulder injury sidelined him for a number of months last season.

Brian Gleeson completes the forward cover after scoring two tries against the Barbarians on his first senior appearance last month.

Neil Cronin, Nankivell and McCarthy are the backline replacements with Shay McCarthy also among the tries on his first senior start against the Barbarians during pre-season.

Munster: Shane Daly; Andrew Conway, Antoine Frisch, Rory Scannell, Calvin Nash; Joey Carbery, Ethan Coughlan; Josh Wycherley, Diarmuid Barron, Stephen Archer; Edwin Edogbo, Fineen Wycherley; Jack O’Donoghue (C), Alex Kendellen, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Scott Buckley, Kieran Ryan, John Ryan, Tom Ahern, Brian Gleeson, Neil Cronin, Alex Nankivell, Shay McCarthy.